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Iran: Bill on Trial of War Criminals

(May 15, 2009) The Iranian government's cabinet approved a bill to launch investigations into alleged war crimes and prosecute war criminals in any part of the world.

The bill will be sent to the House for ratification. The bill will become a law after an endorsement by the Guardian Council. The measure was taken following the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip.

According to the document the cabinet ratified, killing of defenseless people, use of banned weapons and weapons of mass destruction, and siege and starving of civilians and military personnel constitute war crimes, and perpetrators will be sentenced to death or to a prison term of from 10 to 20 years.

The Council of Ministers has asked the Judiciary to assign a particular court in Tehran to probe such crimes. Investigations into these crimes are sought at the order of the general prosecutor, with agreement by the head of the Judiciary. (Bill to Try War Criminals, Mehr News Agency (Tehran), Jan. 26, 2009, World News Connection (subscription database) No. 200901261477.1_f83d002934b42f28.)